Audi's first hybrid vehicle - the 2011 Audi Q5 - is set to be released in early 2011. The vehicle's debut will make it the first hybrid vehicle to slot in the luxury compact SUV class. Given the lack of direct competitors, Audi is hoping for a homerun from its first foray into the green car market. Keep reading to get an early look at engine specs, fuel estimates and styling for the new 2011 Audi Q5 Hybrid.
2011 Audi Q5 Hybrid Styling
By all accounts, the hybrid version of the Q5 won't differ too much from the traditional Audi Q5. However, distinguishing exterior features for the hybrid include special hybrid badging and logos, 19-inch aluminum wheels with a unique 10-spoke design and low-rolling resistance tires. Beyond that, the model offers the same sleek and refined Audi exterior that Q5 fans have come to know and love.
Inside, the instrument cluster has been redesigned slightly to include gauges that allow the driver to monitor fuel consumption and other factors that relate to the hybrid powertrain. A battery charge indicator also provides drivers with the means to monitor current battery capacity.
In terms of interior volume, the Q5 seats up to five - though the rear seat is probably better suited for kids. Max cargo capacity is smaller than the standard Q5. With all seats up, the vehicle provides 17.0 cubic feet of storage.
2011 Audi Q5 Hybrid Performance
Audi promises that their first hybrid will retain all the power expectations inherent in an Audi vehicle. A turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine serves as the main powerplant for the Q5 hybrid. Paired with an electric motor, the SUV is good for 240 horsepower and 354 lb-ft. of torque. Audi reports that this setup nets a 0-to-60 mph time of 7.1 seconds. The brand's patented Quattro all-wheel drive system also comes standard.
In terms of fuel efficiency, the Q5 offers the ability to operate on full electric power for nearly two miles. While official fuel figures have yet to be announced, table calculations suggests the Q5 will deliver around 33 mpg. If true, this would place it in stiff competition with affordable hybrid SUVs such as the Ford Escape Hybrid.
2011 Audi Q5 Hybrid Safety
The Audi Q5 Hybrid should come standard with all the safety features available on the standard Q5. This list includes six airbags, electronic stability control, anti-lock brakes, brakeforce distribution, blind spot monitoring. Seat-mounted rear side airbags and a rearview camera may be either standard or optional. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) gives the nearly identical standard Audi Q5 a best-possible rating of "Good" in all crash test categories.
2011 Audi Q5 Hybrid Prices and Features
Pricing for the Q5 Hybrid is likely to be revealed later this month (rumors suggest a debut at the Los Angeles Auto Show on November 18th). However, given that the gas-engine Q5 starts around $35,000, car shoppers can expect a base price of at least $40,000. The official features list is yet to be announced. However, equipment should be comparable to the 2.0T Audi Q5, which boasts standard leather seats, automatic headlights, roof rails, power front seats, tri-zone climate control and 10-speaker stereo with satellite radio and auxiliary input.
For those interested in the new 2011 Audi Q5 Hybrid, expect the vehicle to hit dealerships in Spring of 2011.
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